City of Angels Camp to vote again on visitor center lease

Sean Janssen, The Union Democrat /

The Angels Camp City Council will vote Feb. 15 on keeping the downtown Calaveras Visitor Center under the management of the Calaveras Visitors Bureau.

The Visitors Bureau Friday amended its proposal to continue operating the Visitor Center. And the Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce Monday withdrew its own proposal to run the center.

Apprised of these developments, the council set its formal vote for next week.

The amended proposal is the same one bureau and city officials could

not agree on at a December council meeting. CVB Executive Director Lisa

Mayo said the decision to go forward with the previous agreement came

after a unanimous vote of the organization's directors.

An affirmative council vote would set rent for the 1192 South Main

Street Visitor Center - previously donated in-kind as part of an

agreement that expired Oct. 1 - at $1,139.40 per month. It would also

bring an end to negotiations that began last summer and led to

considerable tension at a city personnel/finance committee meeting a

month ago.

In September and again in December, it appeared the Visitors Bureau

would leave the center and seek a smaller office. Under this scenario,

the bureau would have laid off staff devoted to center operations, but

would have continued its marketing efforts with funding from a portion

of transient occupancy tax paid by city and county visitors.

"We look forward to moving on," Mayo said at Monday's meeting, hoping for council approval.

In a Feb. 4 letter to Mayor Jack Boeding, Mayo detailed the

difficulties in reaching an agreement and positive outcomes from the

process as well.

"I found overwhelming support for the CVB and our operating the

center. Many misunderstandings have been cleared up," she wrote. "We

realize that these negotiations have not been about the strength,

effectiveness or success of the CVB. It's been about dollars, and we

recognize the economic challenges faced by the city."

She added in the letter that a property owner has offered sign

space at either end of Main Street to direct additional traffic to the

Visitor Center and that the bureau staff has brainstormed ways to bring

in funds to offset the rent through retail and event ticket sales and

is exploring more ways to collaborate with both the Angels Camp

Business Association and Branding Leadership Team.

Contact Sean Janssen at sjanssen@uniondemocrat.com or 588-4531.

11827116
The Union Democrat
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